Additional Sources of Academic Credit for Prior Learning

Columbus State University has several options through which students can seek academic credit for prior learning. The Office of the Registrar will receive records of work completed through non-residential settings from any combination of the sources listed below, correspondence courses, and extension work and facilitate the evaluation of credit. The credit, which may be used to satisfy degree requirements, is limited to 60 semester hours toward a baccalaureate degree and 30 semester hours toward an associate degree. Deans of colleges and department chairs determine the applicability of all evaluated credits toward degree requirements. Additional sources of credit include:

  • Standardized Tests. Successful completion of the general examinations and subject examinations offered by the College Level Examination Program (CLEP)Advanced Placement (AP), Dantes Subject Standardized Test (DSST), Excelsior, and International Baccalaureate (IB) may result in college credit. Official score reports are required before credit will be evaluated.
  • Military service experience. Credit for successful completion of work in military service schools is awarded for 12 consecutive months or more of active duty service. Students who successfully completed the U.S. Army Basic Leader course will receive credit for LEAD 1705 Introduction to Servant Leadership. The three-credit wellness/ physical education requirement will be waived.
  • Students must provide a copy of their DD 214 or Joint Services Transcript for an evaluation of transfer credit.
  • Professional certification. Credit for successful completion of recognized certification courses or examinations may be awarded. The professional certification courses or examinations must relate directly to the program or course of study the student is pursuing. Credit is granted on an individual basis with the determination of the appropriate number of hours of credit accepted toward a degree and the relevancy of the work to the degree program requirements made by the dean of the college awarding the degree.
  • Columbus State University Credit by Examination. To demonstrate educational achievement attained outside the traditional classroom, students may arrange to take credit examinations in courses that have been designated for Credit by Examination. Examinations are available for some courses in the core curriculum. Deans and department chairs may also approve the preparation of examinations for credit in other courses offered in their departments. Instructions for arranging credit examinations are available in the dean's office of the college offering the course. 

Courses taken by examination are identified on the student's academic record by an X following the course designation. A grade of K indicates the examination was passed; W indicates the examination was not taken or was not passed. In determining the enrollment status of students receiving veterans' benefits, credit-by-examination courses are not counted as hours taken.

Students with an SAT Critical Reading score of 650 or above and a writing sample approved by the Department of English will be placed into ENGL 1102 English Composition II; these students will receive credit for ENGL 1101 English Composition I by registering for ENGL 1101X their first term of enrollment. 

Students whose secondary education was conducted in a language other than English may be awarded up to nine semester hours of foreign language credit toward a BA degree. Students who think they may qualify for this credit should contact the chair of the Department of Modern and Classical Languages. Tuition and fees will be charged for credit awarded.

Portfolio Assessment. The student may develop a portfolio to document prior learning through relevant experience which clearly demonstrates the satisfactory accomplishment of the learning outcomes of the desired course. This option is available only if the following conditions apply: 

  1. No other prior learning assessment options exist for the course under consideration; and
  2. The department with academic authority for the course has agreed to participate in the portfolio development process. The student should contact the department chair responsible for the course for more information.
  • Each student must complete the Prior Learning Documentation course satisfactorily before submitting a portfolio for consideration. An assessment fee will be charged for each portfolio reviewed.